Harrisonburg Rockingham Chamber Connections - Social Media and Business
I'm. Frank tambourine it with the Harrisonburg Rockingham Chamber of Commerce the Connexions is an annual event we do to, introduce, business people to other businesspeople and. Impart, ideas, and concepts. That they can use in business to be more successful, basically, the Chamber exists for, for different reasons is what we found out over the years lead. Advocate, network can promote so. Leadership, we've got leadership programs we're training tomorrow's leaders. Current. Leaders are you, know within on the board and in other you. Know prominent positions within the organization. Advocacy. We, try to make sure we got good business climate here so, we do a lot outside of things like this which is a networking opportunity in. Terms of you know keeping up on government affairs and regulations, promotion. We help from both the community we help businesses, from both themselves and the, networking a lot, of people join specifically. Because they want to meet other people in business other, potential, customers, other partners, so, that's what Connexions is all about trying. To again make those networking, connections, between people and, whether. It's again, just a simple you, know how are you here's, business card you, can connect later or whether there's some more in-depth discussion which there typically isn't an event like this where you, know I need, a good you've, got a good let's talk about a little bit later and maybe do some business. So. This is the, panel, on social. Media carrier business, and I. Will introduce the, three. Panelists. Evan. Hunsberger is, the. President of Cato marketing, and. AJ. Meu alumni. He. :. Shadow marketing, with another, fellow J mu alumni, Cato. In, May. Of 2016. They, focused, on small. Business needs with SEO, search, engine optimization digital. Advertising. Social. Media management that. Side of the company staffs for employees, they. Have a wide, variety of services for, organizations. Throughout the brat valley they do everything from branding, content creation, and. Event. Marketing and even consulting, so. And. Then, we have Charles, Hendricks, he, is an architect and partner with the Gaines group. Architects. His focus is on healthy, energy-efficient, sophisticated. Architectural. Design, that's, a mouthful, there but. Design. Solutions, for residential light commercial and industrial projects. As with any small, architectural, firm owner Charles fills multiple. Roles and probably most of you and your businesses, as well so you can identify our Charles on that so. He, does. A lot with sustainability. And he's also the marketing, director for the firm and. He's also the principal in charge at the Harrisonburg Virginia office, while, his two, other partners manage, the. Firm in Charlottesville. And they, were named the best small architectural, firm in the United States Green, Building Council. Best, of building awards, so. That sounds very prestigious. And. The firm is known basically, for their knowledge of practical, green construction, techniques, and then. Here we have Dawn Marie and she is the owner of the village Arts Center in Broadway. So, just up the road the, village Art Center this one's really interesting I didn't know much about it until I met you a couple weeks ago for this so if, Don describes, the village Art Center is a comfortable place for everyone, to explore their creative talents, and to share their artistic skills or, lack, thereof, I think probably in my case but the. Mission of the village Art Center is to encourage community, development through personal, enrichment, they. Bring people with similar interests, together it's. A privately, owned community, center that provides music. And art lessons, for adults, and families they, also coordinate, community.
Focused Programs. They host special events. Concerts. Birthday, parties team-building, activities, private, gatherings, training workshops, for parents and child care providers and. So. You. Know I think. Everybody. On this panel it's it's kind of unique because you have people from three, totally, different areas, and. So we met a couple weeks ago and and just kind of started the conversation about, how, you do social, media for your business so, we'll start, there I'm Erin, Overstreet, I am the director, of digital sales for Greg television, and. Great. Television owns WHSV. If you're, familiar with the ABC, CBS, Fox station in town and I was the director of digital media for. WHSV, for eight years and, now I'm I'm that, for all 60, of our stations, across the u.s. so um. So. I think I, you. Know feel. Free to give some feedback of, things that you guys want to hear or talk about but really. You. Know what I want to hear from you guys about your connection, to social media and and what it is in relevance, to your business, so. Dawn. Would you like to start. Sure, so when we met a couple weeks ago Aaron, asked. What. We love the most about social, media and I admitted, quickly that I really don't love using social media at. All but it is terrifically. Effective, and. And of entertaining, at times so. The. Voice that I bring I think to the panel is a less, technical use, of social, media. What. Seems to work for. My business is. Representing. Myself as, a. Genuine, person I don't. Do a lot of graphs. And charts and, technical, things, but I speak, using, social media as I do in person and so people connect. My tone of voice from. When we when we visit with. What they they, see that I post, and. I've. Got several. Different ideas for, ways. To make it more fun and not so time-consuming that's, what I don't like about social, media some some, folks really like to spend a lot of time and they're, really really good at it but. I use that as a way to communicate and. Interest. People. That maybe don't know about the village Art Center and I think when we when we first met you said I, think. Quote I actually hate, social media but I know I have to do it exactly it's. Like like some vegetables. Charles. So what's your connection with social for the business I hate most vegetables, I'm. Not gonna eat them I. Moved. Over to Harrisonburg, ten years ago we have an established business in Charles ville where we're pretty well known but, over here I had no client, clients, at all in the worst economy of my lifetime so, I started blogging and, you're. Not gonna hire an architect unless. You trust them so. I've. Played the Mennonite name game I fell at that I don't have that heritage here so nobody knows who my grandfather was so, that's how you build trust in the valley generally. I had. To build a brand so I do architecture. Different from anybody else in town so I started writing about that I write, about my kids I write about the things that they say so, blogging, to me was just a way to build trust, within the community and that when, I blog it goes out through Facebook Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram. I, put it out everywhere that I can. So. That I can get those web hits which. Builds the trust but it also pushes, me up in Google search results so. For, SEO I've, been blogging now for eight years and I was open, this year blogging five times a week so. I have one of the stronger websites in the valley just. As my blog what. I realized this year because we all make mistakes as, my website was a separate site, so. My website wasn't the strongest my blog was so. Now we've integrated the two and we're building on that and I think that makes a lot of sense because, you. Know what we're all trying to make Google happy basically. And. So, what, Google likes are, you. Know relevant. Content, and changing, content and things like that so it makes a whole lot of sense to have that on your, site and I think that people don't necessarily think, of blogging as the social media thing but you use social to, get your blog out and social.
Can Help you in in rankings, too for research so. I think that's, it's. A great strategy and I think it's one of people don't often think of when they're thinking about social. Um. Evan. So you this, is your job and your ladyfriend. Yeah. So. I mean of course I'm a millennial so. I've been around social media since, I. Was in high school I mean, I'm only 22 now so that's that's not that long I guess. So. I mean, we use it for a variety of different. Purposes I mean it's everything you, know from we, have clients, that, you. Know their brands, are product, focused, and. We you know post, photos, and. Videography. Of their, products, on. Social media you know we use it within our firm to kind, of communicate the things that we're doing in the community and, the. New marketing practices, that we're trying to implement you, know we also share, our, blog that we finally have up. And running now that I have a team of individuals. Besides. Myself that, are spending, time creating, content for our, website. And. Then we also have event. Marketing that we do so. How many of you are familiar. With the Harrisonburg, international festival, okay. So we recently, so. Last year we did all the social media marketing for them and also, this year and. We've, kind of been able to, build. Upon. Just. The following. The amount of people who have heard about the Harrisburg International Festival. Brand using social media day. Of the. Festival we actually had, 60,000. People see, content, from, the festival due to kind. Of the social media marketing plan that we had set up so, that was that was a really big win for us so. Very familiar with it and used it a lot of different ways yeah, so. On with. Social, the, other thing I think that has shifted in the last couple, years is its you. Gotta pay to play in a lot of cases so what is your take on that um. So, actually, for the international festival we had basically, zero, budget to spend on, boosting, posts or placing, ads on Facebook or. Any other social media site. Fortunately. The, kinds of content that we were sharing was, something. That the, community, was. Really interested, in I mean who doesn't love going. To an event that there is a ton of music and food and vendors. And stuff, for your kids and, all that kind of stuff like who doesn't want to share something like that and have invite, other people to come with them and so we were very fortunate that the kind of content that we were sharing was something. That that other people were willing to share and that just kind of like. Made. The reach exponential. Because. The more people that share the content on Facebook the more people that see it which means more people will engage with it and all that kind of stuff and it just kind of boosts, the, overall image of you. Know your account, and. Your brand so, that. Was one instance that we didn't have any budget but. Honestly. I think that in some ways pay-to-play. Is. It's. It's, frustrating and annoying because you know as soon as you see an ad pop up in your newsfeed you, just kind of you know breeze past it but, if it's if you I think that if it's a piece of content that it's, not just a sales piece but. It's something that like a video, that, you. Know your audience is really gonna care about so. For the international festival maybe it was something that WHSV. Had. Put up because they did an entire series on the festival, you know. If it was that kind of content, yeah, that's definitely something that I would it's not just a sales piece you know click here to buy now nobody's, gonna really, click on that or engage with that in the way that you want them to and. I think that's important, for everyone to know because I think we're in an age where we have so many choices and we want to do business with people we connect to yeah do you do, you find that, different. Types of content that you post connect, with people different ways yeah. My. Issue is I'm very technical, and I'm. Not for. Those of you there's Seinfeld fans, I'm not, Costanza. Who's a fun, architect, for. The younger crowd I'm not Ted Mosby he's always at a bar so. Finding, the content that will resonate with the community, and they'll be interested in it's. Difficult for me where as an art center has something fun to share the International, Festival has bands so, you have to figure out what you want to share. To build your brand for, me I'm building trust I want people to know me so that's I'm trying to share that's why my kids are on my business page or on my blog I'm sharing about me so that you know that I live in the community I care about the community I also, post, a lot of other events so I shared International, Festival on the game square page I want.
To Share out what the community is doing and build that that I'm here, and I'm part of the community to. Grow it for. The. Only time that I spend money on ads is what I'm trying to boost a specific, event or. Highlight. A specific thing that I think there is a broad audience for, and I want it to multiply, I'm never going to boost, an ad that says hire me I'm a great architect I know that's not going to be effective it's. Not viral content right. I think, the community part is it's. Great because that's what people want I know Chris. Brokers, back there and you you put out that newsletter where it's. Got what's going on in the community and everything new and that's really engaging and that's the type of thing that other businesses, can, share so, when you do have a message that you need to get out about your business it. Goes somewhere and people actually see it well, it's a great way to connect with other businesses, which sounds obvious but. It really is so if I know that you're you're sharing, something and then I share it not only are my people seeing. That but. You know yeah then I had your back mm-hmm, so it, builds, that Senate, a different. Level of networking. Has. Anyone ever had any made. Any social. Media foe, cause that you would that you got a regret, I'll, put you on the spot oh. Well. If you get an email from me it says it's from dawn last name because. I say, that my Google Analytics thing incorrectly. So. I've learned to ask for help yeah. But, and, one of the points that I was thinking about sharing is it's, really important, because if you're posting, something you're passionate about it and you want lots of people to know before. You hit that Go, button it's, really helpful to, have someone who's not super, connected just. Give it a quick look over checking. For things like grammar medical, errors just. Just. The format, like is that is it busy is it, is it complicated is there too much information just having another set of eyes is really, helpful and it prevents, a lot, of those. Mistakes, where you've just sent, something out where, you've misspelled, the name of your business. Yeah. Yeah. I've made plenty of mistakes along the way and you're, going to you, have to be willing to make mistakes so. I'm. Dyslexic so I'm blogging all the time I constantly, get people sending me notes that something is wrong in my blog so, I go in and fix it it doesn't bother me it's not a personal attack on me it's, the it's the approach, I have to take in life yeah. So. I. I. Haven't personally done. Anything, but. One of my employees one time. Didn't. Quite. Understand. The. Clients. Brand and I, mean I think there's something we'll probably talk about more later but. How. You want to be perceived on social, media and. You. Know how you're, perceived in person you know like you were talking about earlier dawn is is. Extremely important that those two things are extremely cohesive and that you're not presenting yourself one wail and social and. Another way in person so, if you're a fun-loving person be a fun-loving personal person on social. If you're serious, you, probably don't want to post a captain email or. A photo, of grumpy. Cat, from, your from your business account or your, professional, account. So. Going. Back one, of my employees. Decided. That use, of an emoji on a client's, social. Media account. Was was, something that she wanted to do and. Let's. Just say that I got, a. Very. Miffed. Email. From that client awhile later and said this, is definitely, not what my brand is about, so. We quickly, changed that but yeah. Being you, know making sure that you, know the the product. Or the service that you're offering and, who you are in person and what you're doing on social is cohesive, again, it's extremely important. And. That's us I mean coming on you're coming from your side I mean I'm in, that space so it's such. A subjective thing and, we're posting, on behalf of other people you're gonna get stuff wrong sometimes so, do.
You I know that you. Probably do it all yourself I mean and you do as well do you ever use anybody, else and in the business or connected, to you to kind of help, share, the load I, post. Here so I manage Valley Business keynotes Facebook side right, if somebody else does the Twitter side and I've put other people on to the Facebook, side so, it's. Not as consistent, as it used to be the. Voice is different and some of the things there was. Inspirational. Post that was posted yesterday you know where it doesn't. Really fall with what BBK is all about right, but the person that's helping me post is relatively new the the board so mm-hmm, that. Depth of experience isn't there of what we're, after right. And. But sometimes those people - I mean if that's I think that's a good way to get employees, involved, - you, think you as a business, owner you have to do it all yourself, and. Sometimes I think that can help you build I don't, know employee, engagement. And loyalty by, owning, a piece of the company kind of that way when a lot of times, because. We're an art center and we want to let people know what we there every. Month I have a contest. Which. Is relatively, free marketing, for me where I invite, anybody who's visited the Art Center to post a picture of something, that they've made or a picture, of them next to the sign out front and. And, I, have found that it is very helpful to be able to give them a piece of paper with the exact hashtags. That match. The. Name of my business and fun, in Broadway Virginia. And. Then the, the goal there is that they're. Telling. Their friends they're, like-minded, friends. About. What, we do and they're gonna see that and they're gonna want to check it out and see what what's, going on at the village Art Center. If, you have to be careful when you open an invitation, to everybody, that. Circle your guests or your customer, to be. Kind of promoting. What you do mm-hmm. I have, to have specific, rules, and so I talk about this when people leave I would love for you to share your pictures I would love to see that the photos that you took today but, please make sure that you don't post, a picture of a child that doesn't belong to you so. There's there's some safety issues. That, you need to be aware of and most. Of the time, after. That conversation you, know there's a mom who's been taking a hundred pictures during, this event and she says hey moms is it okay is it okay if I, post these pictures and everybody says yeah that's fine but just making, people aware of. What. Your rules are before, they start sharing your things is very helpful yeah. That's major especially, with working with with children, mm-hmm, you, just you never know and you have to be very careful, that. So. How. Do you say, you do Facebook do you do other platforms, for the for, the business, it's, primarily, Facebook, which I wasn't anticipating, would be so successful but it seems to work so I keep working with that I do a little bit with Instagram. And. Then I have a newsletter which is a little different but I use MailChimp which is probably, very outdated, but it seems to work for me I can understand, it, so. Those are the, three primary. Things that we use, and. Charles. Eve I know you do Twitter as well you're, the king of Twitter and and Facebook. LinkedIn. And LinkedIn, okay WordPress. Belgium. Yeah. I use, them all LinkedIn is probably a powerful platform, for I absolutely hate bugs I think it's terrible format. Yeah but if I'm looking for an employee it's a very place to go perfect. For recruiting. Occasionally. People. Read the stuff that I put there but yeah it's, not my favorite platform so, what, what, kind of platforms, are you seeing I mean Facebook tends. To still be the place that ya, can reach most small businesses, yeah. I. Mean. You know for for my clients. It's. It's really dependent on a client by client basis, I have some that we're just using Facebook, and Twitter or others, that it's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Recently. We've, added so. For the International, Festival this year we. Added snapchat, I don't, know how many of you are familiar with that if, you have kids you might see them running around with that taking. Selfies all the time, so. That. Was a really interesting medium, to, to work with. We. Had tried but, unfortunately, we weren't, granted. By. Snapchat, the. Ability to set up a, filter. The day of the festival and we were gonna have a grid, that, if you walked into it you were snapchat, user you, could use a filter so it would have like the, international festival like artwork and logo so if you took a snap people, would know that you're at the international festival which. Is really cool way to market. And kind of spread the message of the festival to people who might not be there, so. That was a new platform that we worked with this year for. Them but you know we've also used Pinterest, and LinkedIn and. Also. Talked about a cup, using a couple of the other like more, niche platforms, such. As Google+. You. Know that's a really good platform for very small very. Tight-knit communities, of people like photographers, and designers. Architects. Even and. Those those people are really like you know you share something in you'll instantly have you know 5, 10 15 20 or more hits you. Know within, an hour or less of you posting something just because those people are all about that and. Then. Some, of the other more, you, know I guess less mainstream platforms. Are. Ones, that we've also looked at using for certain clients so. Do you have advice for everybody, on, how. They pick the platforms, that are most effective, because I mean you can't can't be everywhere nor should you'll I. Would. Say, nowhere. Like try and find out where your audience lives. If, you're able to do that then, the. Stuff that you do on social media will, again. Make a lot more sense and you won't waste so much time, I. Personally. Like to say the big three so Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are most, places that that, businesses, are going to find their their. Audience and their users on you. Might have some that are on Pinterest you know if you're the Art Center, that's. Definitely, a space that you might want to consider, to. Be on, so. I, mean, really the way that you could go about maybe finding, out where your, audience lives, on is you, know maybe do a survey, of customers, that come into your store or. You. Know on your. If. You have Google Analytics set up on your website, you can easily find, out where. Your users are coming from and what platforms, they're coming on, so. And also whether they're coming from mobile or, whether. They're using their computers, or tablets, so, yeah. It's really interesting to kind. Of pull people to, get. That yeah. That feedback. So. Charles. I know that we kind of talked a little bit when. We all met about analytics. And and how do you know if something is effective so how do you gauge what's. Working what's not yeah. I attract, blog, clicks so, I want to see that which, blog is engaging which which blogs are getting. More shares or more reads so, I'm always going into analytics. Consistently. On a regular basis multiple times a day to, see if things are working and. Is, there a way on your blog for people to contact you to get more information, and yeah. There's a subscription, button and I find that most people don't want to subscribe and get an email they. Want to see it on Facebook. We've started, a newsletter and people, will read all the blogs in that but they don't want it sent to their email because all. Of us get 10, or 15 newsletters, emailed to us every day and, we've, now become numb to it we don't want that so there, are ways that you can connect, with me through all my platforms. But most people were catching, me on social media so to Facebook or Twitter or occasionally, LinkedIn. Sometimes. Instagram. So. What it what excites you about social, media I know I know what what doesn't excite you but what's good about it what do you love about it I love. The. Fact that instantly. Something, that's happening, that. People are excited about can be shared with all. Of their friends so the perfect example is Tuesday night I had, 12 people in one of my art studios doing a. Painting, event. And in, the upstairs art studio we had seven ladies who were needle felting and making these little woolen. Pumpkins. Half. Of the people that were there it was their first visit they.
Were All all of those first visit people were there because, their friends, had, come to the village Art Center and posted. Pictures saying oh my gosh look what I mean oh this was so much fun oh you have to try it so, the. Fact that, it. Does a lot of the work for me it's, way more effective, than a newspaper ad. And. And. It seems to be the language that everybody speaks so I love to see it work I love it when people come in and say I saw this thing on Facebook, I'm. Gonna try, that's. Awesome I mean that's the way you can connect with people I mean it's still it mean it's the, word of mouth yeah that's the best advertising, happy, clients, and guests are the best advertising, you can get so when they're doing the advertising, for you that's. A win so, do you get reviews, don't do you allow reviews on your page as well do, you solicit, those reviews and find that that's helpful, occasionally. One of the things I've learned about, using. My website, and the social media platforms, that I do it's, really helpful to tell people what, I need. If they want to see the Art Center continue. To succeed it's. Not begging and it's not pleading. But sometimes I'll like well this is a good example because, I was asked to speak on this panel I did a little experiment the. Most new, views, I've ever had on my website and one day it was 140. So. I, was, closed for a little while for some medical reasons and so while I was out of the office I developed, this new website, and it has online registration, which is really exciting for me, and. So. I posted. A link to the new website on my. Own personal Facebook, page and I asked my friends. Not. Just to share it but to invite, people that, they. Thought would enjoy the website, to. Look at it, and. Within 12 hours I had over 1200. Brand new people that had never seen my website before. Looking. At the website, and, as. A result, all of the classes for the rest of the month are pretty much full Wow. So. Letting. People know that, you have something that you need to share is helpful if you make, it really easy. So. Putting. The hashtags in front of them or putting a link right there if I ask for a review sometimes somebody else send me a message and say I had a great time I'll say, hey, thanks so much it was great to see you if you if you had a super time would you do a review and in, that in, that message from me there's a link to the review page on, Facebook. All they have to do is click the blue letters and they're, right there they don't have to search for it so, you have to make it easy for them to help you and, I think that's that's really important. Because the people that are most likely to leave, a review for you obviously are not gonna be your happy people and there's, always going to be unhappy people you can't please everybody so I think the only way to get rid of a bad review in a lot of cases is to bury it and so you've got to actively. Continually. Ask for, it because, it's hard because you, know I get. Sent, something afterwards, and I've had a good experience and with okay red flag that I'll go back and leave that review and it takes me three asks. Before I actually, go. In and do it even though as a happy customers so. Do. You have do, you gather reviews, actively, and what's been your experience, with with, all of that the. For, me because I'm on so many different platforms the hard thing is getting them to review all the many platforms that you. Want to get the SEO out of so, we. Howells. Is, a website that architects, use to post pictures. Of their work so, that they can be found by people that are looking to design a new house so.
If You've been on house the reviews are very important, on the, way the house sets up their their, search functions, so, to get somebody, that is not familiar with that website that you just designed a house for they go to that website and write a review is pretty, hard. Google. Is another place for whatever reason, it's hard for somebody to write a review on Google so. I get them on Facebook I'll, share bits, and pieces of that review I'll post it back out to social media hoping, that it will catch on and saying here's are places where I want to be so. Review me here it helps me get work you're helping support my business and grow my business. Do. You guys handle kind, of reviews for people do you do any kind of reputation management um, we. Have done some of that. Again. It's it's really difficult to get people to, review and it, just seems like you, know for every positive review, that you get you get three or four or five more reviews that are like I didn't, really have that good of time this this was awful, I didn't like this you know, but. I guess fortunately, now we're you know I guess with the businesses that we've worked with it's not been I. Guess, that. Frequent. That that we're experiencing, that anymore just. Because the kinds of clients that working with now everybody's, oh I love this place nice. Yeah. What. Is your. Advice. For everybody on on. Answering. Reviews, on things. That are being said about you online. So. I would say do. Not respond, under any circumstances. From your personal Facebook account. They're. Just it's. It's. Probably one of the the biggest nono is about social media that that I probably see on a day-in day-out basis, I'll. Sometimes have clients who like, you know they see a bad review and they're like oh I just got to respond right now and I'm like it's, okay like, we'll, take care of it you know that's our job that's what you're paying us for and.
And, So we'll make sure that you, know we talk about it we try and talk about it internally for, a couple minutes before you, know one, of my employees or I take care of responding, to it you. Know under no circumstances, should you try and like, you, know. Say. That that person is wrong or, that you know they, they're, just being mean or anything like that you'll, continue to treat them with respect I mean, all of us has probably heard the you know the customer's always right, mantra. That just seems like something that's spread throughout business and I mean you should still continue, to respect them on. Social media just like you would in person don't, start a war. Always. Tell the our newsrooms, that I work with, that. Don't. It you know there's always gonna be cave people which are your citizens, against virtually everything and. You can't, ruin. The, the, power that social, has yeah business. Charles. So what advice, would you give to. Anybody. That's, running a business on what, are the most kind, of effective. Ways. That, you found to engage people. First. The, authentic, talk about what you believe in talk about what, you're passionate about, there. Was one. Person that I've been friends with for a while here in the valley that was scared of social media she said what. I do is not very exciting I don't know what to post but. She makes cheesecakes now you, probably know who she is and she makes phenomenal, cheesecake cheesecake not engaging. So. What she does for a living is it's not all that exciting but she makes phenomenal cheesecakes I start posting about that post recipes about that post, if you're giving those out as gifts to your clients after the project you'll get a huge following find. What you're passionate about and post about that and people will follow your business. Passion. Makes a difference this is and, not always felling on on social, yeah, um, so, what. Questions, I'll let you guys kind of add. To this what things do you guys want, to hear about from the, that's our panel. Well. Thank you, isn't that exciting oh. Yes. They, branched out in did acorns. It was Road needle, felting going on. Well. Sure we. Can help with that. Anybody. Else yes. Yeah. Yeah. So. Yelton. I kind of have a. Negative. Relationship I. Think. So. When it comes to their algorithm. Frankly. It's I don't know too much about it. But. I mean, it's another you know for those of you who haven't run into it it's another place. That a lot of businesses, try and get reviews frankly. I think on on in some cases that it's even better than Google Maps when you're trying to find something to do or. A, specific business in the area that you're in. So. I'm. Not I'm not sure Pierce I, wish. I knew but. Yeah. Yeah. And it seems like most of the people who review on Yelp are just the the, cave. People, or. Were. Those people that are just like over, above and beyond and have reviewed you on Facebook Twitter you.
Know If there was one on Instagram they do it there LinkedIn, you know all that kind of stuff so you. Know I I tend to stick away stay, away from Yelp as much as possible when. It comes to the businesses I'm working with. Wow. Wow. Hmm. I mean, that's that's really unique cuz I I've talked, to several businesses about about Yelp advertising, and and none of them have said that it's really worked so that's that's good that they had success with this. Okay. That makes sense yeah yep. Cool, well that's the thing I think a lot of businesses, dislike. Yelp very much but just because you. Don't want to be on it doesn't mean people are going to be reviewing you on it and so, you've got to you've got to know what people are saying about your line and that you have to be checking on that and seeing um. Because. It's not close. Your eyes and pretend it's not happening situation. Don't work for business. Well. That kind of reminds me of another point, I. I. Got. An email list with some, of the people that were going to be here we got some a little bit of information so I took a few minutes to look at some of the. Social media that that belongs. To the people that were on my list and. One. Thing I mean a lot of it was fantastic. And impressive, and gave me a lot of good ideas but, one thing that I thought, might be a good thing to mention is, that if you have social. Media platforms. That you're using it's really important to keep them up to date. If. I, look you up online and, you haven't posted anything, since, 2016. I'm, probably going to think you're not in business anymore. So. That was. Just a little thing. To throw out a little. Pitfall, about mmm-hmm, even, if you don't like it you have to keep eating the vegetables you have to. Yeah. I mean you I mean it's not enough just to be there you have to be there and you have to be relevant I think so I think that's a really, good point even, if you didn't create the page it might be there and you might not have control over because you haven't claimed it right, so, that we have two, games group Facebook pages, one. That keeps picking up my Charlotte's address and one that picks up my Harrisonburg address I managed the Harrisonburg, one I don't. Do anything on the shuttle and other than post please go to the other page and, I do that once every so often just so people will jump to the page that's actually maintained I think. That one of the easiest way is to figure out how where people are leaving reviews for you is just I mean just go to google and type in your business name comma space reviews hit enter and you. Should get, a list of sites that you probably haven't even heard of oh that. Your business has been reviewed, or somebody's talked, about. You want so you can go in and figure. Out if you need to make, some comments, to people or handle a situation or your, old address is still listed because you didn't know the site existed, so, food. For a Lunch and Learn gets delivered to crosstown instead of your office it's, super, important, because you want to make sure those, are all good things to have all that information pointing. Back to your website that. Helps you in search but you need that information to be exactly.
The Same across everywhere. So there's, some tools to search for that. Yeah. I'm trying to think of some of the free ones off the top of my mind right now, I mean. You know of course since we're in SEO, you. Know my organization, does that for clients we have, the. Money to spend on on search engine optimization, software. I, mean, honestly you know doing that doing that search in Google is one of the best ways that you can find you know where your business is you. Know sometimes I've had to skip all the way to page 11 to, find you. Know something, from a client you, know one of their sites but I. Believe. That there are I. Think. Off the top of my head. Wish. My, SEO Jackie was he or she has, been the one who's most up-to-date with, stuff, so. There are services, that you can type in your your website or your business name and it'll give you a review of everything that's out there you know you where things are conflicting with one another so that you can owe back, together um so there's an SEO software called, Maz mo. Zhee so. If you go to their website I know that they have a they. Have a function that. Will. Allow you to kind of get a short, report about your website's, SEO and I think even show you some of the spots. That your website is. You're. Having lakes. From your from, other people's websites to, yours, and. And, that frankly, that SEO software isn't expensive it's really easy to use the, dashboard, is very user friendly so. If that's something that you wanted to to, check out I really, encourage you to yeah. And. It's you know and it's so important, again to be listed on those sites but if your business is listed as 1240, West Elm Street and then, on another site it's 1240, W Elm Street that's, the same information we all know where we're going but it's conflicting, to to Google you know and we're trying to make Google happy so it's important, to have all. Of that out, there exactly the same so people. Aren't delivering food, to thing do your business or what whatever, that. Is. Any. Other questions, yes so. It might be. Slightly. So, Charles. I think I heard you mention about you know marketing. Campaigns, that you're not a huge fan. So. Just curious if we could like dive. Into that just a little bit more I know for us personally our email list is actually significantly. Larger. Than even. Our Facebook following, and. So, we are trying to do things like. Uploading. Our, email. Addresses and, ads manager on Facebook so that we can target those, older. Try and kind of balance it out but. What. What is it about emails. That you're not crazy, about or, I think that you mention that you guys send out newsletters, emails, so, I do two a month okay and that's it because what people don't even rates to you do you get I get about 70. To 73 percent are. Opened, Wow, I. Promise. People that they are not going. To get a ton of emails, and, I. Try, to put a really catchy picture. At the, top of it. And I make it a really simple, format, so. The. Other nice. Thing about my email list is that all of the people that are on there have asked, to be on there. They've.
They've, Actually written it on an old tech kind of clipboard, and. They've asked, to be notified because. Not everybody, particularly. In my business not everybody, uses social media there. Are some people that say would you please mail me a calendar, because I don't have a computer. Right. So. Limiting. It, they're. Just not flooding, them with stuff, if I'm going to send my monthly, newsletter I, send. A link to my monthly newsletter and. When you click the little blue letters it takes you to my website hmm. Instead. Of overloading. Them, I've had some articles published. With. Fons abilify, and. Or. No amplify. And. One. Of the things that they suggest, is that nothing should be more than a four minute read if. You really want people to read it otherwise they're just a scroll, through mm-hmm. If. You give them too much them oh yeah, it's just overwhelming nobody, has time for that right yeah. My newsletter goes out once a month I just started, it a couple months ago I was, relying totally on people subscribing to the blog it's social media I'm, only sending out event, announcement, so I'm only, sending you a newsletter when I have beer and food to offer you and, then I put my my. Blog links below that. Yeah. I mean, you know like. They said you know sending up just massive emails that that nobody cares about that you're not provide value for your customers or for your audience if. You're just selling them a sales pitch. They're. Gonna just, it's, gonna go in the trash or, they're. Just not gonna open it at all so. Yeah. What's. In it for me yeah I mean exactly. The whole thing about social email, and any of the stuff I think another. Helpful thing if you use MailChimp, it lets you have kind. Of categories, like, different, mailing lists so. To. My but. Not when people come I I kind of have these little guest cards, that they fill out and I. Just asked them to to check the boxes for things that interest them so. If I have some. Ladies, who are in their 80s they're not really interested, in the children's process, art for toddlers and preschoolers. So. I don't send them information that's. Not relevant so, they're, they're. In a different email, category. And that really helps you keep things relevant because I'm sending. Out email, every week I'm just not sending it to everybody. Every. Week, that's. Really interesting. Anybody. Else Thomas you had your hand up. Just. Want some advice on people. Who are more. Scared, of the downside, risk of social media. Mm, you, could let them hang out with my thirteen-year-old daughter for, a while. Mama. You need Instagram, let me help you give me. Okay. Thomas. You can join Facebook it's not too late. I. Think. Telling the story of the return, that. My partner's didn't care about social media I interviewed, for a project yesterday. And the person I was interviewing with was reading, my blogs back to me as we walk through the house saying I want, to do this here because I know you said that says. She didn't by somebody, was at her house before and, she didn't buy what they were offering because Charles, said that that was not right and she knew she needed to call Charles building. That trust said, that you've already sold but before you got there so that's, how I closed deals is I know, that I'm hired if I get invited out. Thomas. Was just doing a how, to close a deal session. I, mean. Would. They be interested in reading a report or industry. Statistics or, anything like that I mean that's something that I've had to pitch to clients before like actually. Yes you do need to be on social media because this white paper and, this case, study all say that that you need to and that this business which is in your. Industry, has. Had success doing this I mean, if your competitors, are own social, why.
Shouldn't You be and. That might be helpful looking, at your competitors social, media mm-hmm, showing, them the. Competitor, stuff and. Maybe it maybe even take a different, approach to it you. Know for some of my clients it's not just a way to engage. Or. Just you know post, funny, videos or whatever but it's it's also a customer, service, you, know it's another aspect, of that customer service experience that they're walking through so. I, mean since you're in banking, you. Know maybe somebody is having an issue with their account and they're, like well I I can't, necessarily just drop them a line. On their website because they don't have a contact form and I know people sometimes don't get back to me in time but if they go to Facebook, you know they, could send you a message immediately say hey my account is having this issue like can help me figure it out so, I've found that in some cases for for certain businesses that it's it's really been an extension, of that customer, service experience and you want to be in front of them all the way or else they're, gonna drop a review somewhere that you don't know about it and it's. Gonna be real bad I. Think. You just gotta push forward it's not an option not to be in the space, anymore. So mm-hmm. Until, you can get everyone on the bus I'm you know I think everybody's, probably experienced, that of of, colleagues or friends that won't do social but when it comes to your business that's so important, at this point just to be there and to be relevant. Yes. Well. That's so, this year things, changed in my life I'm blogging. Maybe, once every two weeks maybe once every three weeks but. I'm always on social media so if I, have a gap, in my schedule I'm gonna see what Thomas is posting about real men wear pink repost. It. I'm. Always one I want to be relevant, I don't want an outdated site, that hasn't been updated for. For. Quite a while so as. Often. As you're comfortable doing so you set your own pace and people will start expecting, what, you're posting on that regular schedule, as. I was blogging on a regular basis I'm looking. At open rates I can see what time people were opening my blog I know that most people in this room when you get to work the first thing you do is surf the internet cuz, you reading my blog so. I posted at nine o'clock so it was fresh content at the top of everybody's feed when they got to work that's. When I get the most reads, or. At 6:30. When, you should, be eating dinner with your family your salsa surfing the web so. You got, to know what your target is sorry, there's, there's, also a handy little program. That I've found called, buffer comm, and. It. Is why I'd no longer say I hate, using social media now I just struggle with it um, it is one, website. There's, very user friendly I figured it out without my daughter's, and. You. Can connect. It to all of your platforms at once and you can decide when things will be posted, so, I can sit down and spend a couple of hours doing. All the posts that I would like to go out for the week and I, can tell buffer, that I would like this one to go to Instagram, on Tuesday at 6:00 and I would like this when you go to Facebook on Wednesday, at 9:00 in the morning it is really. Handy, and then you can go in and edit it if something changes, and. That happened one time I had posted all of the events, that I had for a week and one of them filled up before it was scheduled, to go, out so, I just wanted to delete it so. It's a very user, friendly. Program. To use so. Instead of doing it all the time schedule, some time and just.
The. Thing that I hate it was the whole, copying. And pasting into. All of the things and then if you do use Facebook really, be mindful if you're posting events, it will fiddle with the times particularly. If you duplicate, an event so, there. Was one time that I posted a children's art activity, that was like 14, hours long because I didn't, know that it settled, with the times I didn't enter that. So. Yeah, buffer. Lets you just sit down and, schedule. A lot and. Be done with it. Yeah. And then there's some there's some other, I. Guess, platforms, for, for. Social media management out there we. Use HootSuite but, I mean that's that's something that since we have multiple. Clients who have multiple different, social. Media accounts that's that's something that's really powerful for us to use the, only thing that I don't like about HootSuite right, now is the fact that with Instagram, say. You schedule posts for nine o'clock. Unfortunately. It doesn't just send it to Instagram, automatically. Like I understand buffer does, but. It actually comes to your phone and says you actually have to log into the Instagram account then, to like click go. Okay. You, have to go and, it, will, automatically. Clip your tech or copier, next, yeah and you have to add it yeah that's the only frustrating thing about about social media management, platforms, right now but. There's also so buffer and HootSuite, and then sprout social is another, one I'm. Each of them have different features, and pros and cons I, would say HootSuite is if you have multiple locations and. You have you know I mean I Instagram. A Twitter and a Facebook for. Each location for your business I would. Say HootSuite s-- definitely one that you should consider but if you just have one location. You know buffer or sprout social would be good yeah. So. We. Are just about out of time is, there anything kind, of last things that you guys want to kind, of tell. Our group in regards. To the spirit. Of social, media and I guess. The. One thing that I've learned along, the way because I don't I don't have a social media expert I'm, doing. This as I go I'd. Like to encourage you that if you haven't started playing, with social media it's really doable and, there are lots of great people that are willing to help you and one. Thing that was really significant, for me where, I saw a big difference in. The. The number of contacts, that I was receiving was, when I actually, made sure that my Facebook page and, my Google account were verified. I didn't. Even know that was a thing it's. A big deal so, you, may all know that but, it's. Just a helpful mm-hmm, thing to check and see if your accounts, and and things have been verified. The. Fastest way for you to grow your social media platform. Is to support other people that are on social media because they'll return the favor absolutely. Definitely. I. Would say education is, probably one one of the other big things. HootSuite, as I was talking about earlier they, actually have two. Free, social media social media management courses one, to actually learn how to use the HootSuite platform, and another, one to actually you know how to create a social media you. Know campaign, and run it and all that kind of stuff so those are two great resources and, then also you. Know follow some blogs and, other. Websites that have good. You, know just, content. About how. To do marketing. I mean they have everything from SEO to, social media you, know hoot sweets a great one also HubSpot. And. What's. The search, engine land is another good one that I refer, to a lot as well so, yeah. Lots. Of great tools out there definitely. Thank you guys very much we. Appreciate you I. Learned. From. The other people on the panel. Different. Perspectives, different, platforms. That they use it. Was also nice to hear that they, have some of the same struggles. Or frustrations. With certain, platforms, that I do and, it. Was really great to hear that lady, who. Was a guest in the, room say, that she had seen the needle, felted pumpkins that, I had talked about so. That was really exciting so. If you're starting on business I think it's really helpful to, have someone to kind of walk, along with you as you start working, with social media it's, really easy to make mistakes and, that. Saying about having one chance to make a first impression is, really true so, just having someone to look over the. Things that you post and check for grammatical errors. And for, content, is really helpful, it's. Also really manageable, and and. What I have found is. It the most successful, way to get anyone, to.
Help You with, social media is, to just ask them usually. People are happy to help, the. Panel, discussion has been great I've been to one on diversity, one on social media and one on closing the deal so. Just the the. Experts sharing their knowledge with, us has been a phenomenal. Opportunity for, us here in this community social. Media is a phenomenal, tool to build your reputation in the community I've. Used it over the last 10 years to get to know this new community for, me, just. Being authentic, reaching out to new clients, I've. Seen, it work I've had clients that when I've gotten to the interview, they already know me so, I don't have to sell myself anymore they're calling me because they know that I can bring value to the project.